• On voting other people’s Human Rights

    A few days ago, Ireland voted to repeal the 8th amendment which banned, since 1983, the voluntary termination of pregnancy. This was the right choice, for it is not Government’s business or anyone else’s to determine what people —women or otherwise— can have inside their own bodies.

    By the end of 2017, the Australian Bureau of Statistics reported that more than 61% of Australians was in favor of gay marriage. That very same afternoon, the Australian Labor Party introduced a marriage amendment bill in order to expand a little bit the definition of marriage — again, the deontologically right results.

    Here’s the thing, though: isn’t it weird for people’s rights to be voted into existence?

    I mean, this is dangerous. What gives if the majority of the population is for or against what others do in their privacy, or inside their bodies? And why should the validity of a contract be determined by the difference in the size of the contracting parties’ gametes, or lack thereof? The whole point of human rights is that, by definition, they are counter-majoritarian — what anyone does in their privacy and without affecting the legal property of others is not subject to a vote. Australian LGBTQs and Irish women are fortunate enough to live in fairly civilized countries, but what about their peers in Iran and Saudi Arabia?

    If rights can be voted into existence, they can also be voted out of existence, and be kept out of existence via ballot boxes.

    Last I checked the Universal Declaration of Human Rights says nothing about the validity or scope of these rights being subordinated to the degree of acceptance of each society. That would render them not so universal, huh?

    And I will not be the one to shed a tear over the repeal of public policies infected with religion around the world, but we could surely find faster and more effective ways to do this without having to wait for the number of troglodytes in a country to fall below 50%.

    Category: Philosophy


    Article by: Ðavid A. Osorio S

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